Accomplishments and lessons learned
Approved by the AAOS Board of Directors in 2014, the AAOS Resident Assembly is a program designed to help increase resident engagement. Since its inception, many delegates, committees, workgroups, and staffers have been committed to making the program a success. Efforts to spread information about the Resident Assembly have included presenting to the Council of Orthopaedic Residency Directors, the Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery, the Council on Education, the Board of Specialty Societies, and the Board of Councilors.
One of the Resident Assembly's specific purposes is to provide an organized venue to engage, educate, and represent orthopaedic residents while developing future AAOS fellows and leaders. To that end, the Resident Assembly hosted its inaugural meeting at the 2015 AAOS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
Since that time, the Resident Assembly has provided input to the AAOS Strategic Plan, formed Strategic Relationships and Global Health workgroups, presented multiple webinars on resident-related topics, conducted surveys, and published multiple editorial and peer-reviewed articles. One of the Resident Assembly's most exciting accomplishments has been a significant increase in resident participation in the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons PAC (Orthopaedic PAC), from 106 residents in 2014 to 195 residents in 2015. The new resident PAC members come from 45 programs—compared to just 19 programs in 2014—and represent a new generation of orthopaedic surgeons who understand the importance of advocacy in orthopaedic surgery.
As I reflect on the Resident Assembly's importance and accomplishments, I'd like to focus on what the program has taught me. Although not all-inclusive, the following is a list of the most important lessons I have learned.
Residency just got a little busier. Although not many of us wish our lives were even more complex, they will no doubt become so if we choose to contribute to our profession by participating in the AAOS as active fellows. Triaging, juggling, and prioritizing are all talents we will each be forced to develop. The Resident Assembly has provided a low-stakes training ground for just that: participation. Conference calls, travel, webinars, and preparation are all tasks that have to be balanced with our clinical rotations, standardized tests, fellowship interviews, job interviews, etc.
Through my involvement with the Resident Assembly, I have been exposed to the breadth and depth of educational resources available through the AAOS. Although these resources represent the most evidence-based, vetted, and thorough repository of orthopaedic knowledge, many are little known or utilized by residents who have simpler, faster sources at their disposal. The Resident Assembly has been instrumental in educating residents about courses, webinars, the board review course, Annual Meeting activities, publications, and other AAOS resources.
Process, patience, and perseverance
Process without patience and perseverance will only bring failure and frustration. Residents infuse a vital fresh perspective, energy, and outlook into the AAOS. However, we need to embrace AAOS's long and rich history as we look for ways to think outside the box. We need to do what we can to understand the system in place and its culture as we seek to improve it.
With the creation of the Resident Assembly, it's never been a more exciting time to be an orthopaedic surgery resident. AAOS continues to engage residents and provide them with numerous opportunities for involvement.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. As AAOS resources allotted to the Resident Assembly are expanding, let us not shirk the responsibility that accompanies this substantial investment in our future. None of the Resident Assembly's accomplishments could have come to fruition without the support of the AAOS at every level.
Yet, with all our growth and accomplishments we are still only engaging a little more than 2 percent of orthopaedic surgery residents in leadership roles. There is much work to be done. We are achieving our purpose thanks to the efforts of our AAOS family. Let us be good stewards in filling the shoes of those who have come before us as we follow their examples of dedicating our time, talents, and treasure to the practice and advancement of orthopaedic surgery.
Resident Assembly at 2016 Annual Meeting
2015 has been an exciting year for the Resident Assembly and we look forward to upcoming milestones—including participating in the 2016 AAOS Annual Meeting. On Wednesday, March 2, the Resident Assembly will hold an open forum to discuss action items that have been developed by, and that are pertinent to, residents. On Thursday, March 3, we will hold subject matter committee meetings, our official Resident Assembly meeting, and our first Resident Bowl. The Resident Bowl will allow 40 teams of residents from all training levels and geographic regions to compete in a fun environment where we hope to build bridges and foster camaraderie.
Jared L. Harwood, MD, is the AAOS Resident Assembly chair. He can be reached at Jared.Harwood@osumc.edu
2015-2016 AAOS Resident Assembly Executive Committee
- Nathan W. Skelley, MD, past chair
- Jared L. Harwood, MD, chair
- Jeremy M. Burnham, MD, vice-chair for Administration
- Joseph L. Petfield, MD, Health Policy committee chair
- Brandon J. Erickson, MD, Technology committee chair
- Michael Rozell, MD, Practice Management committee chair
- Joshua Hunter, MD, Research committee chair
- Rachel M. Frank, MD, Education committee chair
- Verena M. Schreiber, MD, member-at-large
- Mark Schultzel, MD, member-at-large